Support for war against Libya has risen to a fever pitch even among liberals. I would point out that Russia, China, India, Brazil and Germany abstained from the UN Security Council vote yesterday, belying the Obama administration’s contention that bombing Libya has worldwide support. There is very little difference between George Bush’s 2003 “coalition of the willing” and Barack Obama’s “alliance” in 2010, since it is comprised of the US, UK, France and a handful of reactionary Arab states in the Persian Gulf who are meanwhile using brutal force against their own dissidents and rebels.
In response to President Obama’s warlike declaration of intent against Libya, Representative Dennis Kucinich issued the following statement today. Needless to say, I agree. Here is the statement:
“Washington D.C. (March 18, 2011)—Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement and letter to Congressional leaders after the President announced that the United States will support a United Nations-approved attack on Libya:
“While the action is billed as protecting the civilians of Libya, a no-fly-zone begins with an attack on the air defenses of Libya and Qaddafi forces. It is an act of war. The president made statements which attempt to minimize U.S. action, but U.S. planes may drop U.S. bombs and U.S. missiles may be involved in striking another sovereign nation. War from the air is still war.
“It is also worth noting that the President did not comment upon nor recognize that the Libyan government had declared a ceasefire in response to UNSC Resolution 1973. It was appropriate for the UN to speak about the situation. It was appropriate to establish an arms embargo and freeze Qaddafi’s considerable financial assets. But whether the U.S. takes military action is not for the UN alone to decide. There is a constitutional imperative in the United States with respect to deciding to commit our U.S. armed forces to war.
“Congress should be called back into session immediately to decide whether or not to authorize the United States’ participation in a military strike. If it does not, the action of the President is contrary to U.S. Constitution. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution clearly states that the United States Congress has the power to declare war. The President does not. That was the Founders’ intent.
“I have sent a letter to Congressional leadership indicating that the national interest requires that Congress be called back quickly to Washington to exercise its Constitutional authority to determine whether our armed forces should participate in the UN mission. Both houses of Congress must weigh in. This is not for the President alone, or for a few high ranking Members of Congress to decide.
“It is hard to imagine that Congress, during the current contentious debate over deficits and budget cutting, would agree to plunge America into still another war, especially since America will spend trillions in total for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and incursions into Pakistan.
“The last thing we need is to be embroiled in yet another intervention in another Muslim country. The American people have had enough. First it was Afghanistan, then Iraq. Then bombs began to fall in Pakistan, then Yemen, and soon it seems bombs could be falling in Libya. Our nation simply cannot afford another war, economically, diplomatically or spiritually.”